Most Popular

This section provides the most popular articles which is loved and shared by our visitors from NYC.

NYC’s Tired of the Worst Date Ever? Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with

NYC’s Tired of the Worst Date Ever? Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with

We’re with Andrea McGinty, dating expert from

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with

Today’s conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, un-edited conversation, visit our YouTube channel here

So often we talk about food and wine and it’s usually for dates, romantic nights out, date night, anniversaries, vacations

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with

Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with

Today we’re going to get to the source of what those date’s are actually about. So with us is a dating expert, Andrea McGinty from 


Joe Winger: 

So just to start things off, what inspired you to become a dating coach?

Andrea McGinty: 

You mean what inspired an accounting / finance major to become a dating coach? 

I started this when I was in my 20s. So this is the 1990s. 

There’s no Google yet. There’s no online dating.  It’s going to happen in the late 90s, but it hasn’t happened yet. At that point I was living in Chicago and I was getting married and five weeks before the wedding, he called it off and it was like – boom!

What do you do? First I cried, of course…

Anyway my friends started fixing me up on dates, still in your 20s and you know how those dates go, 

They know someone that’s single, so they think you should like them, blah, blah, blah…

After some of those dates I was really thinking about it and I thought, it’d be great if there was a place you could go, like an executive recruiter for your professional life. 

The same thing for your personal life. 

And of course, there was nothing like that at the time.  Even in high school and in college I fixed up two of my suitemates. They’re still with their husbands that I fixed them up with.

I was already good at this and I thought I could start this. 

Anyway, fast forward.

I started a company in Chicago called It’s Just Lunch. Where people meet for lunch. We do all the work.

Fast forward, 15 years later, it’s still the same.

[At my first dating company, It’s Just Lunch] we had 110 locations globally and then I sold.  Timing was perfect because online dating was coming out of its infancy and it was a mess it at first, just the scammers, the crazies, the horrible stories, 

I thought, “Oh, wow, there’s a need. People have no idea what to do online and how to date.” 


Dating Expert Andrea McGinty makes it easy with

Joe Winger: 

Is there one big lesson to learn how to be more successful with dating in today’s world?

Andrea McGinty: 

I think there’s a couple, there’s probably two lessons to learn. 

#1 is you need to understand how to navigate online dating because there’s over 1400 sites out there. 

#2 you’ve got to be really careful that you don’t give up too quickly. 

Most people give up in the first 2-3 weeks because they go online, see a bunch of people, they probably went on the wrong site by the way too, like not the right site for them at all. Then they see these people who like them and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is online dating, forget it, I’m done, gone.” 

And it goes back to they didn’t do it right, they had no idea what they were doing.

Joe Winger: 

Can you bring some clarity to that and help somebody understand what are the first few steps are and how to do them correctly?

Andrea McGinty: 

Absolutely. With online dating you need…

 #1 you need to be really careful that you’re choosing the right site.

When we’re talking about 1,400 sites out there, I tend to work with the top 25 sites. When I’m working with a client I start initially with a zoom call with a client and get to know them what they’re looking for. 

I work primarily with the 40 – something 50- something, through the 60s age group. Second time around, second acts in life type of thing. 

Back to the right site…

When I’m choosing a site for a client after the zoom call, I’m thinking about. “Okay, what sites do I think they belong at?” And it’s very different if you’re in Los Angeles versus Houston versus Washington versus New York City or Orlando, Florida.

[The sites are] so different, how the sites function and the type of people that are even on the site. 

I’m strategic too. I use three different large companies for research. I use Gallup,  Pew and Statista.  I pay to get research on a monthly basis and it really tells me the percentage of men to women on a site. 

Some sites that are 80% men. Some sites are 80% women 

You might be having an awful time on a site because you’re a woman and you’re at a site that’s 80% women. You’re in the wrong place. 

So I do the homework with the research. Geographically where you live, level of education, income. Is that site’s membership increasing, decreasing?

#2 Your pictures. 

Oh my gosh. I’m like a crazy person with photos because you have to have really great photos. I don’t mean LinkedIn photos, I don’t mean glamour shots, and not selfies.

The candids are nice because it’ll show you and your friends. Out playing pickleball, out playing tennis, out having drinks with your girlfriends. The professional shots. Depending on where you live, you’re just gonna get some great shots up against a graffiti wall in Brooklyn or a nice shot by the beach that are just a little more.

You want a couple full body shots. 

You want the photos to be current, within the last year.   Just like you don’t want to be surprised when you show up on the date and there she is.  She has a few more wrinkles and a few more pounds than what I saw online. 

It’s like you’re not being truthful about the whole thing. 

Online dating is a visual medium. You’ve got to be presenting yourself. My LA and Orange County market, Dallas market, they get that.  But there’s other parts of the country. I’m like no, we are not putting that picture of you online. There is absolutely no way.

#3 Your profile

Once they look at your photos online, if they like what they’re seeing, they’re going to read about you.  It can’t be the same old stuff. Like I like to walk on the beach and I look as good in a tux as I do….   it puts me to sleep. 

So a short, sweet, interesting, quirky profile sells. 

A lot of times it’s hard to write about yourself. That’s why it’s nice to have somebody like me, write about you.

[Summarizing]  You’re on the right site.  The right photos. Your profile. Now it’s looking through high potential dates for you….

#4 Looking for High Potential Dates

Putting in algorithms, putting in search filters. That’s something I teach people how to do because otherwise it’s like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack and you want it like a needle in a little Easter basket.

Once we throw those filters and algorithms on, it gets rid of  80% of the people. Now we’re down to some of these people that look like high potential people for you. 

#5 Send messages

We found 10 “someone” ‘s and now we send messages.

We don’t send them a weak heart or any of that kind of junk because men get so irritated.  Because half my clients are men, they get so irritated with this. 

Why are these women sending likes and hearts and no message? 

That’s my constant battle with women.

Hey, you’re in your 40s, you’re not 90 when women had to wait to be pursued. We’re not living in our grandparents era, right? We’re equals. We can reach out to the men too. 

The men totally appreciate when a woman sends a well crafted, interesting, short three sentence message.

The messaging is super important because you don’t want the: “Hi, how are you?” – or this is horrible. “Hi, you’re so good looking.” “Hi, you’re so beautiful.”

It was like, copy paste, they threw that out to the world, they sent that to everybody.

So now you’ve sent a message, hopefully he / she messages back. 

#6 Schedule a date

The next thing is let’s get that date scheduled. This can all be done with just a couple texts on both people’s part:

“Okay, yeah, I’m totally interested. How’s Friday, at 5:30p at Bistro 110. Let’s meet for a glass of wine?

Because chemistry only takes place in real life. 

Joe Winger: 

In reality, do most dates get set up that quickly?  It seems like there’s more delays and game-playing?

Andrea McGinty: 

From the time you first send a message to someone, if the date has not been scheduled within five days of that initial text.  There’s a 90% chance the date will never occur. 

I’ll say to my client, “We’re going to go right for it right now.”

Write a couple of cute lines that are just for that person and then be like:

“You know what? I don’t really need to text you anymore or talk to you anymore because I’m ready to meet you. I’m super interested. How’s Friday night…?”

Sometimes you’ll get back a reply, what’s the rush? 

I think to myself, what isn’t the rush here? 

What do you want to talk about? Can’t you just get dressed? 

We both live in Beverly Hills for goodness sakes. How long would it take us to get together and meet, right? We’re both in New York City.  C’mon. Let’s do this in person. 

If you’re getting those people that are drawing out the process, you either just cut bait. Just block them, goodbye, gone. 

Or you say, you know what, if you don’t reply, you’re going to end up on my waiting list. 

And you do it with a little humor, add an “LOL”  

That can work too, where people crack up and they’re like, yes, I would love to meet you Saturday. Let’s grab lunch.

Joe Winger: 

In today’s world of different levels of politically correct, cancel culture, different levels of sensitivity, regardless of whether you’re in a very conservative culture, progressive culture, etc.

How do we deal with any level of uncomfort when it comes to online dating?

Andrea McGinty: 

First of all, you’re not in the workplace dating right now. Cause that’s where a lot of that happens, right?

This is where I say “Women, you’ve got a big advantage right now because you can feel very comfortable and free reaching out to men and get over that whole thing”.

Women wait to be pursued.  There was this book that came out in the 90s: “The Rules.”

Wait to be pursued by the man and then don’t respond to him for three days. What the heck is that about? 

No. Reach out to men. 

Now for men, you’re not going to send stupid messages like, “Oh, you’re so gorgeous and sexy and blah, blah, blah”

Nobody wants that message. 

You would find that offensive too.

As far as men reaching out to women, just do it in good taste.

Women are there to meet men.  Creepy doesn’t happen very much online anymore. We’re out of that 2000 – 2010 era where more of that stuff happened. 

There’s so many more hoops. Both parties jump through [hoops] on top notch dating sites now and dating apps now that verify that you are who you say you are and verify some information about you.

Joe Winger: 

Most of the people watching this, they’re into food. That means fine dining. They’re into wine and cocktails and collecting wine. 

What kind of a goal can they look for if they come to

When they approach and connect with you, what should they be thinking about and preparing so they know how to best represent themselves in that first conversation with you?

Andrea McGinty: 

Just be real with me and, people that are foodies and wine collectors, there’s a lot of us out there. There’s a lot of people out there that will find that very attractive. 

There’s a lot of people that like to try different wine bars, they like to go up to Napa.  Maybe that’s your third or fourth or eighth date, 

Be real with what your interests are and… talking about food. 

This goes back to when I’m writing your profile, when people just say, “Oh, I like Italian food.” I’m like no.  Give me something here. 

“I like carbonara with peppers and from Trattoria is amazing.”

It doesn’t have to be written in a snobby or snooty way, but it’s just like fun. Like you’re describing what you like to eat or your favorite foods or it could be talking about, you like this vintage of wine.

Be very specific with me because that’s how I can help you the most and be really upfront no, no PC woke stuff with me because this is your personal life.

Joe Winger

What are some realistic goals for your online dating experience?

Andrea McGinty: 

We’ve got to make sure that we’re not listening to all the noise out there. We’re not listening to our negative friends about dating and friends and family can be two really negative forces because you get one of one of two things. 

If it’s family, maybe a lot of them are married and they’re like, Oh, you’re good looking. You’re so awesome. You don’t need to do online dating. That is like for losers. 

That is so not the story anymore. 

You’ve got friends that are like, “Oh, I just tried Bumble. It was horrible”. “I did hinge. It was horrible.”

A lot of dating is going in with a good attitude. I’m not talking about rainbows and unicorns; and everything’s perfect or anything like that.

We spend a lot of our 20s and 30s becoming successful and working on our careers.

By the time we’re 40s, even 50s we’re there career-wise. So now, it’s time to focus on our love life. 

That could be two very different pictures: it could be a second act because you’re divorced. 

Or it could be you’ve been single and just all your efforts have been going into career and friends and travel and all this other stuff, good stuff you’ve got going on.

But you wake up one day and you’re like:

“Hey, I’m 45 and I’m single. What’s up with this?”

Go into online dating, approaching it the way you did your career.  Strategically.  It’s no fun to think about your love life, like strategically, hire somebody, think about how you play golf.

You didn’t just go out on the golf course. You took a bunch of lessons.

Everybody’s playing pickleball now.  But you didn’t just go out on the court, even if you played tennis before. You took a couple clinics, right? 

That very quickly threw you into the intermediate range all of a sudden because you put some effort into it. 

Same with dating.

But if you want to do it effectively and pretty effortlessly, just like you did with golf, hire the pro to do this stuff for you.

My typical male client tells me I take 80% of the workload off him because he doesn’t have to think about it anymore.

I’m coming up and presenting ideas to him, presenting women to him and just getting them through. All of the hoops and the messaging and all that stuff. Getting them to the good dates because they’re out there.

There’s some markets, like Los Angeles and New York, that can be big complainers about dating. I think because they’re trying to do it on their own. 

When I get online and go on the good sites in those two markets, there are so many good people on there.

It’s just a matter of having somebody doing a good portion of the work and pushing you. 

And oh, here’s the other thing, accountability. 

When you’re working with me, you have accountability because you’re going to talk to me next week. And I’m going to say:

 “Okay, Tell me what happened to you last week.”

“How’d that date go?” 

“Did you call back that other one that we talked about?“

I did text her after the date you said you were going to, what happened? 

So that little push along the way and keeping you on track too.

Because we’re in a culture where, we’re educated, we’re taking great trips, we’re dining out.  We’ve got a nice group of friends that we love to hang out with. 

It can be really easy to sweep this all, to the wayside. There’s no reason because there’s a loneliness epidemic in the U.S. and we all know if you’re with somebody, that you really enjoy hanging out with you’re going to live longer and you’re gonna live happier too.


Joe Winger: 

You’re offering great dating tips.  Thank you. 

Let’s say you’re someone who’s done the work on your protile,  messaged all those people, asked for a date, and they’ve all disappeared.

What’s that person doing wrong?

Andrea McGinty: 

You kinda gotta take responsibility for it. You’re doing something wrong. 

Here’s the deal. You don’t know what you’re doing wrong.  

But that’s stuff I can fix.

That’s another thing. You have to stay away from those free sites or sites that have free people on it because there’s no skin in the game there. They’re just dilly-dallying around, playing around on there and not really serious. 

Part of it is recognizing the statistics that you’re going into up-front that for every 5 texts you send, 1 person is going to respond back.

I give my clients homework on a weekly basis, two sessions. That’s all I ask of them. 

During those two 30 hour sessions they have to send out 8 messages.  So I know by the time I’ve talked to them, they’re going to at least have gotten back 3 responses.

If their photos are really good, they might have 8 responses back. 

If they haven’t already booked the date, craft the email, craft the text, craft the message that’s going to get that date in person. And get us there. Get us there.

Joe Winger: 

Andrea McGinty from dating expert. 

Any requests from the audience watching and listening?

Andrea McGinty: 

I would just say, take a look around my site, maybe take the dating quiz that I have on the site. It’s fun. And it’s really fast. It’s 10 questions, and it goes right to me. It doesn’t go to any of my people. And. I can rate you and what you’re doing and tell you whether or not I can help you too.

So if you do take that quiz, give me as much info as you can. I don’t mean personal info, but like where you live, your age, but that’s all going to be on there. But take that quiz because that’s a good way to contact me and see if we might be a good fit and maybe I can help you if you really want to meet somebody.

Kosher Expert Reveals 2024’s Top Passover Wines

Wine Expert Jay Buchsbaum Reveals 2024’s Top Passover Wines for Passover 2024

Passover starts Monday April 22 at sundown and ends April 30th. But today’s conversation is about the flavors of Seder dinner.  

Jay Buchsbaum

Royal Wine and’s Jay Buchsbaum visits to talk about flavor, tradition, tastes for every family member and what’s exciting in the wine world for 2024.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, unedited conversation, visit our FlavRReport YouTube channel.


Joe Winger: Jay, welcome back.  I appreciate that you’re returning.  Last time was great and we learned alot.

Jay Buchsbaum: Thank you for having me. Wow. This is great. So getting invited back for a second date, that’s really cool.

Joe Winger: Passover is just around the corner and we want to talk about different over wines to enjoy during the celebration and some great wine pairings.

I wanted to start off with what might be one of the popular new bottles – Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon.

Jay Buchsbaum:  It’s very hot and the reason it’s very hot is because people want something that’s rich and flavorful, especially the American palate, what we call the New World style.  

Opulence, fruit forward, but they don’t want to spend a fortune like you’d have to from some fancy vineyard in Napa or from Judean Hills. When it comes to Israel or the Golan Heights, and this is one of those wines where they’ve put together this at the beginning of opulence, lots of fruit forwardness, 14 months in oak and about $25.

So it’s really one of those really wonderful wines. What I noticed, and they say they forgot to do it, but I noticed that it does not have an appellation specific, except for Israel.  The reason I believe the winemaker did that –  I don’t know for sure – he talks about it on the back [of the bottle] that they brought the grapes from some of the finest vineyards.  He chose small amounts [of grapes] from the best vineyards from different places and put them all together, carefully crafting it so that it’s big and rich and flavorful and still under $30 bucks.

Joe Winger: That sounds amazing. What are some good food pairings that you’d recommend with it?

Jay Buchsbaum: A roast would be great. On the first and second night of Passover, we don’t officially roast anything because we don’t want people to think that it was a sacrificial lamb that was done in Egypt because we don’t have it today yet.

Until the reestablishment of the temple on the Temple Mount at some future time. 

So people cook a roast in the oven, it’s not barbecued. That’s what they’re talking about from a historical, spiritual sense –  but a delicious roast, maybe chicken marsala, where you have mushrooms and caramelized onions, you have a really rich flavor to go with that.

A lot of the Sephardic foods are like that too. We talked about traditional foods. Traditional foods from where? Sometimes it’s Eastern Europe, sometimes it’s Middle Eastern, and sometimes it’s Sephardic.

Lots of seders have a mix of all [cuisines] because you have melded families.


Joe Winger: Royal Wine currently has a wide roster of wine suggestions for Passover  Something for every adult at the table, from Grandpa to 25 year old Grand-daughter and her boyfriend.


Jay Buchsbaum: That’s a great point.  I’m going to give you the last one first only because I thought this was so much fun when I thought about it and I actually might do it. 

Let’s say the boyfriend is coming over. He wants to bring you something and he doesn’t know what to get you because, he’s not that observant..

So I thought, why don’t you end the meal with something Sparkling. The Momentous Rosé. That might be fun. You go out with a pop, so to speak. There’s Vera Wang’s  Prosecco Rose that’s also wonderful.   Both around $20.

But if you want to go really high end, why not go with the Rothschild Brut Rosé from Champagne, which is magnificent.  It’s 100% Pinot Noir, and about $100 a bottle.

So you have great diversity and  accessible and quite delicious sparkling wines.

Grandpa, or if you have a real fine wine guy. You have beautiful wines from the Rothschild vineyards, the Haute Medoc. which is in the upper $30s, and then you even have Grand Cru’s LesCombes, Grand Cru Margaux as an example, and some amazing wines from the Herzog Winery in California like the Alexander Valley Herzog Reserve, or the Napa Valley Herzog Reserve.  

We have a beautiful Lake County Reserve Cabernet from California. Big, opulent, delicious, mouth filling. 

I start my Seder usually with a rosé.  The reason for that is because you’re starting your Seder, having eaten nothing pretty much since the morning. So you’re on an empty stomach and the tradition is to finish at least the first glass. So I try to start with a rosé.  It’s a little lighter, a little lower in alcohol, a little lighter in texture and, and I like to start with an Israeli wine first.

Joe Winger: Iis there a hidden gem as far as just high quality with amazing value?

Jay Buchsbaum: There’s a really wonderful wine from New Zealand.

It’s a white wine, not a red wine. It’s made by the Rothschild family, but it’s made in New Zealand, called Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc. Less than $30 for sure.  Fresh, sweet lemons, but with enough acidity and structure, almost like a palette cleanser.

Joe Winger:  Anything that you’re looking forward to in the next few  months that wine lovers should be getting excited for?

Jay Buchsbaum: We were missing rosés from Israel for a whole year because of the sabbatical year. We skipped that vintage of roses, and so they’re back for the first time in 24 months for this Passover.

I love some of the new Italian wines. One of them to take a look at is Cantina Giuliano.  it’s a boutique winery. They make 3,000 – 4,000 cases maximum. It’s run by a young couple and I just had them over at my house for Sabbath Shabbat.  His wines blew people away.

I think the most exciting thing is our new winemaker and what our new winemakers is doing with our grapes. His selection and his final product over at the Herzog Wine Cellars. And that could be

Our new winemaker, his name is David Galzignato. He’s with us about three years and he has a background that is with some of the finest and smallest, medium sized boutiques. 

He was going to be moving to France, going to go for his MW [masters of wine] and they asked him if he’d come and consider working with us and he did. He has been making literally blow your brains out wonderful wines so our Napa Cabernet, our Alexander Valley Cabernet are just up and down the line, the wines, especially the reds are just rich and opulent.

He got Joseph Herzog to buy a visual sorter, they range in cost between a $100,000 – 1 million dollar machine.

What they do is when the grapes come in [during harvest] and there’s something called sorting tables.

Done by hand [vineyard workers literally sorting through the harvested grape bunches, looking for]  damaged or a little beat up or whatever, and they only allow the perfect grapes to go through. 

This visual sorter does this electronically by computer, so nothing is missed, zero. As a result, the grape quality is much higher

Famously said in The New Yorker Years ago, “There’s only three things that matter in good winemaking. Good grapes. Good grapes. Good grapes.”

So, the fruit that we get and the fruit that we end up making wine out of is literally the most important thing.

By using these kinds of methods, which are not inexpensive. But the quality is through the roof. We’re looking to make a 100 point wine one of these days and I think it might we might get close this year. 

NYC Heartbreak: “Goodbye Pies” for Valentine’s Day with Pizza Hut delivering Spicy News in a Sweet Way

NYC Heartbreak: “Goodbye Pies” for Valentine’s Day with Pizza Hut delivering Spicy News in a Sweet Way

Pizza Hut announces a new Valentine’s Day offering, “Goodbye Pies” with the launch of its new sweet yet spicy Hot Honey pizza.

There’s a misconception that breakups don’t happen around Valentine’s Day, but research shows it’s actually a holiday centered around the most heartbreak with 45% of people agreeing it’s better to do the deed right before the holiday itself*.

There’s even a phenomenon called ‘Red Tuesday’, which is the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day, where people break up most often in the year.**

That’s why starting this Red Tuesday, February 6, through Valentine’s Day, Pizza Hut is launching new, limited-edition Hot Honey “Goodbye Pies” to help deliver spicy news in a sweet way for FREE.

By sending a Goodbye Pie, Pizza Hut will help you break up with your significant other by delivering a personalized, simple message on custom packaging with a sweet and spicy Hot Honey pizza to ease the pain.

The custom Goodbye Pie pizza boxes also leave a space on the top for the break-upper’s name to be added.

To submit for a chance to send a free Goodbye Pie, simply visit starting February 6 to ditch that awkward break-up convo and send a pizza instead.

This offer will be available through February 14 at select locations in the three major U.S. cities notorious for heartbreaks – NYC, Chicago and Miami, while supplies last. Not available in your city?

The website above can also be used to request Pizza Hut instead write a breakup text for you to send, along with a link to a gift card for your future-ex to redeem a free Hot Honey pizza. Limited quantities only available during this limited time.***

“The rising popularity of the sweet-heat flavor profile has led to Hot Honey becoming the most requested test item by our team members and we are thrilled to have it as the newest addition to our menu,” shared Lindsay Morgan, Chief Marketing Officer at Pizza Hut.

“With the launch of Goodbye Pies, we are bringing that perfect blend of sweet and heat experience to real life, delivering spicy news in the sweetest way for Valentine’s Day.”

Pizza Hut’s Hot Honey Pizza and Wings can be found nationwide at participating Pizza Hut locations starting at $11.99 for a medium pizza and $5.99 for 6 count boneless wings. Pricing and participation may vary.

  • Hot Honey Pizza: Featuring a pizza crust topped with marinara sauce, a generous layer of cheese, classic pepperoni, a hot honey drizzle made with real honey infused with chili peppers and crispy cupped pepperoni, balancing the honey’s sweet heat with the savory-salty taste of the pepperoni. The crisp pepperoni cups are ideally shaped to hold the hot honey drizzle.
  • Hot Honey WingsAvailable in both bone-in and boneless versions, these wings are coated in Hot Honey and double-dipped in sensational sweet heat flavors.

This new Hot Honey innovation will be spotlighted in a new Pizza Hut campaign, titled “Pizza wHut!?” which will roll out nationally in February bringing to life Pizza Hut’s commitment to flavor innovation as the brand continues to reinvent and perfect everyone’s favorites with new and craveable flavors.

Visit for more information.

*According to poll.
**Described on

*** AVAILABLE FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED, WHILE SUPPLIES LAST EACH DAY. QUANTITIES ARE LIMITED. Open to legal US residents physically residing in the 50 U.S. and D.C who are 18+ years of age. Offer Recipients must live in select zip codes in New York CityChicago or Miami. Ends at 11:59:59 pm CT on 2/14/24, or when all available Incentives are claimed (whichever comes first). A minimum of 10 Goodbye Pie Incentives and 50 Breakup Text Offers are available each Incentive and Offer Period per Market. Limit one (1) Incentive and Offer per person and per household. Other restrictions apply.

For Incentive and Offer Periods and a list of eligible Zip Codes and full Terms, visit

Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season January 12 through 28

Wine Lovers: Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season January 12 through 28

January temperatures may be cold, but excitement is heating up across Niagara as the region prepares to celebrate its annual Icewine harvest season in style.

From January 12 through 28, Niagara wine country raises a glass to Canada’s liquid gold with glitzy galas, a wine and culinary touring program at 32 different wineries, a sparkling Niagara-on-the-Lake street festival, and more.

Niagara Icewine Festival fun kicks off on Friday January 12

Niagara Icewine Festival fun kicks off on Friday, January 12, with the return of the popular Discovery Pass Touring Program, sponsored by CAA Travel.

Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season

Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season

For one low price, passport holders can visit their choice of three or six Niagara wineries on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in January to enjoy delicious wine and food pairings that simply can’t be found anywhere else on the planet. A new optional shuttle service offered this year makes it easier than ever for wine lovers to spend a January day sipping and savouring their way around Niagara wine country.

This year’s 32 winery partners are providing Discovery Pass guests with an extensive range of choices, including red, white and sparkling wines, Icewines, and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free food pairings. Purchase Discovery Pass Touring Passports.

Wine lovers looking for an experience that embraces Icewine’s luxurious nature won’t want to miss the all-inclusive Cool As Ice Gala at the Niagara Parks Power Station on January 13. Presented by Fallsview Casino Resort, the dazzling evening event will showcase twenty-five of Niagara’s top wineries as they pour a diverse array of fine wines, cocktails, and mocktails.

Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season

Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season

Eight of wine country’s most buzzed-about restaurants will showcase their skills through bold culinary experiences that will include everything from Indian street food to a decadent oyster bar and Icewine-kissed culinary delights like smoked salmon, pork belly, and wood-fired mushrooms. As Cool As Ice Gala guests savour these flavours, they will enjoy exclusive access to the Niagara Parks Power Station, which will ignite additional Icewine excitement with live music, art installations, show-stopping circus-style performances, and the opportunity to descend 180 feet in a glass-panelled elevator and walk a 2,200-foot-long tunnel for the ultimate sub-zero selfie at the edge of Niagara Falls. Browse the Cool As Ice Gala food pairings.

Last year’s Cool As Ice Gala guests were so wowed by the wine, food, and fun at the Niagara Park Power Station that ticket sales for this year’s event have been brisk. Cool As Ice Gala Tickets are already 85% sold, so those wanting to secure a spot on the guest list for January 13 should act quickly to avoid disappointment. Purchase Cool As Ice Gala tickets.

According to Niagara Wine Festival Executive Director Dorian Anderson, “There is no such thing as post-holiday hibernation in Niagara wine country! With 32 winery partners, three weekends of Discovery Pass touring and one unforgettable Cool As Ice Gala, the Niagara Icewine Festival offers wine lovers countless ways to experience the excitement of the Icewine harvest.”

The Niagara Icewine Festival

The Niagara Icewine Festival is part of the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival and takes place January 12 through 28 across Niagara. This year’s Niagara Icewine Festival includes a weekend Discovery Pass self-guided touring program, the Cool As Ice immersive experience on January 13 and the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival on January 13, 14, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28.

The Niagara Grape and Wine Festival is celebrating its 74th year with support from generous sponsors, including VQA Wines of Ontario, the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, The Grape Growers of Ontario, the City of St. Catharines, Fallsview Casino Resort, Niagara Falls Tourism, Niagara College, CAA Travel, The Province of Ontario and the Tourism Partnership of Niagara.


Chilli No. 5 Introduces Spicy Advent Calendar with 24 World Hot Sauce & Spice Flavors!

Chilli No. 5 Introduces Spicy Advent Calendar with 24 World Hot Sauce & Spice Flavors!

Chilli No. 5, the world-renowned supplier of premium spicy condiments, is excited to announce the launch of its very first Spicy Advent Calendar. Launching in a limited edition, get your hand on it to spice up your holiday season like never before as you countdown to the most magical time of the year with Chilli No. 5’s Spicy Advent Calendar.

Chilli No. 5 Introduces Spicy Advent Calendar with 24 World Hot Sauce & Spice Flavors!

Chilli No. 5 Introduces Spicy Advent Calendar with 24 World Hot Sauce & Spice Flavors!

Get ready to experience an epic journey through the world of heat and flavor with our handpicked selection of 24 delectable hot sauces, fiery flakes, chilli oils, and exclusive spices that will leave your taste buds stimulated. Chilli No. 5’s Spicy Advent Calendar is the ultimate gift for those who appreciate bold flavors and are eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival.

Chilli No. 5 Introduces Spicy Advent Calendar with 24 World Hot Sauce & Spice Flavors!

“Chilli No. 5 has always been about redefining the way you experience spice, and our Advent Calendar is no exception,” says Rumble Romagnoli, founder of Chilli No. 5. “We’ve selected a thrilling assortment of our finest creations, as well as some exclusive surprises to make your holiday season unforgettable.”

Key Features of Chilli No. 5’s Advent Calendar: 

A Flavor Journey: Discover 24 unique and handcrafted hot sauces and condiments, each designed to awaken your taste buds in a different way.

High-Quality Craftsmanship: Chilli No. 5 is known for its commitment to sourcing the finest ingredients and creating exceptional flavor profiles.

The Perfect Gift: Whether for yourself or a loved one, Chilli No. 5’s Advent Calendar makes for an unforgettable gift for spice enthusiasts and food lovers alike.

The Chilli No. 5 Advent Calendar is available for purchase starting today on the Chilli No. 5 website. You will put your hands on our most famous products and limited-edition :

  1. Mexican Fury 
  2. Wicked Wasabi 
  3. Jamaican Jerk 
  4. Devilish Dijon 
  5. Chinese Hot and Sour 
  6. Perfect Piri Piri 
  7. Fiery Gazpacho 
  8. Hot Spicy Ketchup 
  9. Louisiana BBQ 
  10. Forever Phall
  11. Heavenly Harissa 
  12. Totally Thai 
  13. Sriracha Cha Cha Cha
  14. Ever so English 
  15. White Truffle 
  16. Spicy Sweet Chilli 
  17. Pure No. 5
  18. Cheeky Chimichurri
  19. Smooth Chipotle 
  20. Champagne Gold 
  21. Pizza Pizzazz 
  22. Chilli No. 5 Reaper Flakes  
  23. Chilli No. 5 Burger Spices 
  24. Chilli No. 5 Tandoori Spices


Quantities are limited, so don’t miss your chance to add some extra spice to your holiday season.


Spice up your holiday season with Chilli No. 5’s Spicy Advent Calendar and embark on a flavorful journey like no other. This December, unwrap the heat, unwrap the flavor, and unwrap the joy of Christmas with Chilli No. 5. 


To explore the rich flavors of Chilli No. 5’s and elevate your culinary Christmas dinner, visit our Website.


Chilli No. 5 is a gourmet hot sauce company that was launched by British entrepreneur Rumble Romagnoli in October 2020 during Lockdown because of a lack of healthy spicy sauce options to pair with take-outs and eat-ins. Chilli No. 5’s portfolio of 18 artisan hot sauces is inspired by global cuisines and is designed to add pizzazz to a wide range of culinary creations. Designed for gourmands who wish to live a healthy active lifestyle, each hot sauce is made with only the finest ingredients and infused with superfoods, antioxidants, and supplements, as well as Chill No. 5’ exclusive five chilli blend. These powerful ingredients may help with sleep deprivation, libido, concentration, weight loss, and depression. Sauces are available in 200 ml sustainable glass bottles, 100 ml land-fill friendly pouches, 25 ml glass tasting vials and most recently 15 ml mini glass bottles. Chilli No. 5 sauces bring your food to life. Discover The Sauce of Life!


Chilli No. 5









Sofitel Saigon Plaza Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary, commemorating a quarter century of Joie de Vivre in Vietnam.

Sofitel Saigon Plaza Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary, commemorating a quarter century of Joie de Vivre in Vietnam.

Sofitel Saigon Plaza is delighted to commemorate a significant milestone this October with the celebration of its 25th anniversary.

Drawing inspiration from local Vietnamese culture and traditions while embracing life with a French zest is what the hotel successfully stands for a quarter century.

Daniël Stork- Consul General of The Netherlands_Mario Mendis-Sofitel Saigon Plaza GM and guests

Daniël Stork, Consul General of The Netherlands, Mario Mendis, Sofitel Saigon Plaza GM and guests

Since its establishment in 1998, Sofitel Saigon Plaza has consistently delivered a 5-star luxury experience marked by heartfelt service and hospitality excellence in the heart of Ho Chi Minh.

Globally acclaimed through the decades, Sofitel Saigon Plaza has welcomed dignitaries and political figures, from the former French President Francois Hollande to the US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Ambassador Lesly Benoit of Haiti performing with Jazztown

Ambassador Lesly Benoit of Haiti performing with Jazztown

On October 5th 2023, Sofitel Saigon Plaza hosted an enchanting Anniversary Dinner at its opulent Diamond Hall in presence of Mrs Maud Bailly, CEO of Sofitel.

Maud Bailly, CEO of the Sofitel, M Gallery & Emblems Worldwide

Maud Bailly, CEO of the Sofitel, M Gallery & Emblems Worldwide

At this extraordinary soirée, the hotel had the privilege of hosting esteemed guests, ranging from international diplomats and government officials to renowned celebrities, CEOs of prominent corporations, and dedicated Heartists (Accor team members) who have passionately served Sofitel Saigon Plaza for over two decades.

Chef Kieko Nagae

Chef Kieko Nagae

The honoured guests were thus invited to enjoy a sumptuous six-course dinner crafted by Michelin-star and celebrity chefs from Asia and France. This exquisite evening was topped off with spectacular performances blending these two cultures. To mark the occasion, Heartists whom are within the property since the opening have been highlighted and recognized for their exceptional commitment and remarkable work.

“Founded almost 60 years ago, Sofitel was the first French luxury hotel brand to develop an international network of hotels and resorts…

Maud Bailly

CEO of Sofitel

“…Each of the establishments now artfully blends the French art-de-vivre with the essence of the local destination, offering chic design, the best of culinary arts, and exceptional personalized service. The 25th anniversary was truly an illustration of the cultural link between France and Vietnam, exemplifying the symbolism of the Sofitel logo, which signifies the seamless blending of French and local cultures. Over these two and a half decades, we have not only celebrated the excellence of Sofitel but also the enchanting partnership of Saigon’s vibrant spirit with the elegance of French heritage. At Sofitel, we want to inspire people to celebrate life and its beauties with joy, impertinence, and, most of all, pleasure! This celebration embodies the essence of our vision, where the rich traditions of Saigon meet the sophistication of French savoir-faire, creating a world of endless delight and unforgettable moments”, commented Maud Bailly, CEO of Sofitel.

 “It is a privilege to be part of an establishment that has redefined luxury, elegance, and service in Ho Chi Minh City. Our gratitude goes to our valued guests, passionate team, and partners who have been unwavering supports in this journey. This anniversary not only pay tribute to our past but also reaffirms our dedication to offer unforgettable experiences to our guests in the future”, said Mr. Mario Mendis, General Manager of Sofitel Saigon Plaza.

Michelle Wee- CEO Standard Chartered Vietnam - Madame Trang Le Counsel General Daniël Stork of The Netherlands

Michelle Wee- CEO Standard Chartered Vietnam – Madame Trang Le R- Counsel General Daniël Stork of The Netherlands

The festivities will continue during the 5th Saigon Gourmet Week, taking place from October 6th to 8th at Sofitel Saigon Plaza.

Event Curator and Producer Tracie May-Wagner

Event Curator and Producer Tracie May-Wagner

This event promises a delightful array of culinary experiences, including immersive cooking classes, exclusive lunches and dinners, and an unforgettable brunch featuring renowned chefs.

Phoung Nam Art Theater

Phoung Nam Art Theater

The lineup includes Sébastien Voelker (French Pastry Chef), Truc Dinh (Vietnamese Chef), Shozo Tsuruhara (Japanese Chef), Victor Savall (Spanish Pastry Chef), Sakal Phoeung (French-Cambodian Chef), Keiko Nagae (French-Japanese Pastry Chef), Vuong Vo (Vietnamese Chef), Adrien Guenzi (French Chef), and French Michelin-Star Chef Thierry Renou.

Sofitel Saigon Plaza

Sofitel Saigon Plaza harmonizes the sophistication of French art de vivre with the vibrancy of local Vietnamese culture, delivering a luxury hospitality experience enriched by genuine heartfelt service. Conveniently located in a tranquil enclave on Le Duan Boulevard, Sofitel Saigon Plaza places you in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s business, cultural, and shopping district.

The hotel boasts 286 rooms and suites adorned with refined décor and deluxe amenities, a fitness center feauring advanced exercise equipment, and an outdoor swimming pool with breathtaking city views.

Sofitel Saigon Plaza also features five dining establishments serving local and French cuisine, seven polished meeting rooms, and an opulent ballroom equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, making it the ideal destination for business, leisure, meetings, and gatherings.

Sofitel Hotels & Resorts

Sofitel Hotels & Resorts is an ambassador of modern French style, culture and art-de-vivre around the world.

Established in 1964, Sofitel is the first international luxury hotel brand to originate from France, with more than 120 chic and remarkable hotels in many of the world’s most sought-after destinations. Sofitel exudes a refined and understated sense of modern luxury, always blending a touch of French elegance with the very best of the locale.

Sofitel also includes a selection of heritage luxury hotels under the Sofitel Legend banner, renowned for their timeless elegance and storied past.

Some notable hotels in the Sofitel portfolio include Sofitel Paris Le Scribe Opera, Sofitel London St James, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and Sofitel Ambassador Seoul.

Sofitel is part of Accor, a world leading hospitality group counting over 5,400 properties throughout more than 110 countries, and a participating brand in ALL – Accor Live Limitless – a lifestyle loyalty program providing access to a wide variety of rewards, services and experiences. | |

Find Chile’s Santa Ema Winery for your next Meal

Chile’s Santa Ema Winery brings Premium Flavor to your next meal.

Chile’s Santa Ema Winery brings culture, family and premium wines to focus over their multi-generational history.  Have you tasted one of their bottles? It brings dimension to light dishes, like seafood, heavier like BBQ, even dessert.

Today I have the opportunity to speak with Santa Ema’s Jaime Merino about life, history, flavor pairings and what’s next for Santa Ema.

I don’t know if people truly understand how busy wine professionals are. Would you mind just giving us an idea of how much you’re traveling and how you spend your time?

Jaime Merino: Yeah, absolutely. You know that in the wine industry, it is extremely important to be in front of the distributors that are our commercial arm into the different states.

We need to have an importer because we are an imported brand. So our wine’s coming from Chile. In order to get into the U.S., we need to have an importer. So we spend a lot of time in front of the importer and virtually every week we’re in touch either via video calls or phone calls or face to face, taking the wines into each one of the states, we need a distributor in those states.


That is the representative of the wine. So we assigned the brand to a set distributor in New York, for instance, and then that distributor with their sales force is going to take the wines to the trade, to the street. So it’s going to take it to the wine stores, going to take it to the restaurants, going to take it to the clubs, depending on the legalities of each one of the states.

Therefore, we need to spend a lot of time with the distributors and the sales forces of those distributors to make sure that they have the information for each one of the wines that they’re gonna be pushing. And then not only with the Salesforce of the distributors, but also with the trade and their sales forces.

Because any one of us as a consumer walking into a wine store that has already made the decision that we want to buy a wine, we probably have a budget. And also we probably have an idea that we want either a white or a red, but then we need to start diving into the details. Do I want domestic? Do I want imported?

And then if it is imported, do I want old world, new world? Then you start narrowing to the point that you’re going to say, I want to buy a wine from Chile. 

Then that opens a new box of alternatives. So you can imagine the process of getting to one particular bottle of one particular supplier needs a lot of skimming into this very interesting and complex wine industry.


So let’s talk about the historic brand. Can you share a little bit about the history?


Jaime Merino: Yeah, absolutely. Santa Ema with one M, because we come from Chile.

But Santa Ema is a family owned company. It is owned by a family, last name Pavone, that their roots go back to Piedmont, Italy. So today, the company is run by members of the third and fourth generation of the family, and the founder of Santa Ema is the grandfather of the third generation, a gentleman named Pedro Pavone, that migrated from Italy, a little region in the Piedmont, Italy, called Rivalta.

And he migrated into South America, went across the Andes in a sidecar motorcycle and established himself in the heart of the Mao Valley, southwest of Santiago, the capital city in Chile. So he established himself in that area in 1917. And established his family, grew his family, and with his son, Felix Pavone, they bought some land and one of the properties that they bought in Isla del Maipo was actually devoted to agriculture, and that particular property, the name was Chakra Santa Ema, that is like an orchard Santa Ema or Farm Santa Ema. 

So that is the origin of the name / brand that we use. Because Santa Ema was a staple landmark in that particular region. 

They planted vineyards, they started producing wines that initially they were selling bulk.

But then in 1956, they founded Ema Winery, and they started producing their own wines to be bottled and started selling in the domestic market. Throughout the years and throughout the development of this company, pretty much done by Felix Pavone, we’re talking second generation.

The first exports of Santa Ema happened in 1986 into Brazil. When Brazil was just starting into becoming a wine consuming country. Today Brazil is one of the engines in South America in terms of top markets for wine consumption.

So ultimately it started as a father son business that grew and evolved into a multi generational still family business.


Yes.  And probably different to many families involved in the wine industry and in the wine business for the Pavone family, this is it. So this is what they do. This is their life. This is their reputation.

Basically, they are not in the wine business because it’s trendy, because it’s fashionable. No, this is a business for them with family members hands-on.  Today we have members of the third generation and fourth generation so we are undergoing a very interesting times to the winery because you can imagine that the members of the third generation are people mid 50s to early 60s and then the members of the fourth generation are their early tp mid 30s.  Professionals coming from college with sometimes different visions from traditionally what the family has done.

A second ago, you mentioned regions. Let’s talk about the vineyard and the regions and the soil types Santa Emma uses and works with.

Jaime Merino: The winery and most of our properties are established in the Maipo Valley in Chile. Maipo is probably one of the most traditional valleys and wine regions in the country. Chile, for those people that have a rough idea of what Chile is, first of all, we need to look at South America.

If you look at South America, and – I will challenge people reading this to grab a map and look at South America – you’re going to notice that South America is shaped as a cluster of grapes. Therefore, no secret why South America is a very good vineyard paradise, as it is referred to sometimes, and that’s why we have very strong countries in South America producing wines.

Of course, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil producing these days. Peru becoming a very interesting offering of wines. There is wine produced in Bolivia, Chile. We’re going to start seeing a lot of wines coming from South America. But then if we go back to Chile, Chile sits on the western side of South America.

It runs north to south, and it roughly expands for 4,000 miles, but with an average width that is no more than 180 to 200 miles. So the best way to picture Chile, as I normally explain to consumers and trade, take the northern tip. take the southern tip, flip it upside down, and bring it to the west coast in the U.S. 

So now, the northern part of Chile is going to be from Los Angeles all the way down to Baja California. 

Baja California, that is super dry and desert, that is going to be your Atacama Desert in Chile. The central part of the country, It’s going to run from San Diego all the way up to San Francisco, so it’s going to be pretty much the agriculture area of the country.

That’s why, when we move, into October, November, we start seeing a lot of peaches and plums and fruits coming from Chile because we are in the opposite season. Then if you go from San Francisco up to Seattle; and all the way up to Alaska, that is going to be the southern part of the country. So you’re going to go into the lake districts, ultimately you’re going to go into Antarctica.

So that is a good way to picture how Chile looks from north to south, that will be like moving from south to north on the western side of the U. S. 

Now, if you grab Chile and you put it across the U. S., it will span more or less from New York all the way up to Seattle. So that is going to be the length of the country if we put it across the U.S.

I love those comparisons.

Jaime Merino: Appreciate that. Yeah, just to give a sense of location and a sense of what people should find there because sometimes at least here in the U. S. Chile is known for some ideas of certain regions, like for instance, the northern part of the country because of the Atacama Desert and the geysers in the in the northern part of Chile, or if you go to the southern part of Chile and you go to Torres del Paine, that is a very touristic area. Or ultimately, if someone is a little bit more exploring with an exploring soul, they can jump into Easter Island, that is also Chilean territory, and that will be more of the Polynesian side of Chile.

In terms of the Maipo Valley, it sits pretty much in the central part of Chile in the belly bottom of the country, Santiago being the capital city, and Maipo surrounds the Santiago to the south and runs from the foothills of the Andes, starting at 1,000 to 3, 000 feet above sea level, all the way to the coast, so we’re moving east to west, bordering the Pacific Ocean.

That is going to be pretty much what you’re going to see in Maipo. And that applies pretty much to most of the wine regions in Chile, running east to west. With very few exceptions, most of the valleys in Chile, Maipo for instance, they take the name out of the river that runs through the valley that waters the vineyards and all the agriculture activity that happens in the valley. 

So Maipo Valley is because there is a Maipo River that runs from east to west. And then, since you’re coming from the Andes, starting at 3,000 feet and then going through the central part of Maipo and into the ocean you have very different growing conditions in Maipo Valley.

So most of the time I tell consumers when you are exposed to a bottle of wine coming from Chile that on the front label reads Maipo Valley, try to ask where in Maipo, because the conditions are going to be totally different. 

Just to give you an example, here is a Sauvignon Blanc Select that reads Maipo Valley, but this is a central part of the valley that is only 25 miles inland from the ocean. So we have good, cool conditions to be able to produce a very expressive, fresh, crisp Sauvignon Blanc. 

But then, on the other side, I have a Cabernet Sauvignon, also from Maipo Valley, but here we have a combination of fruit coming from a vineyard that we have at 1, 000 feet above sea level, with fruit coming from a vineyard sitting roughly at 500 feet above sea level.

Okay, so it is extremely important to understand this. Probably people are wondering why the altitude is so important or how the altitude could impact in terms of the style of wine that we’re going to produce. In simple words, if any of you come to visit us in Maipo, say January, February, March, that is our summertime, the first thing that I’m going to do is to make sure that you’re wearing a hat, that you have enough water, and most importantly, that you have sunscreen on you. 

Okay, so let’s take this example now to the vines. Can we control the amount of water that the vines have? Yes, because our vineyards are planted with drip irrigation systems, so we can control the amount of water that each vine is getting.

Can we give hats to the vines? No, they need to find their own ways to protect themselves by growing extra leaves, trying to generate a very populated canopy of leaves to protect the clusters. What do the clusters do? Because we cannot put sunscreen on the clusters, so they need to naturally grow thicker skin to protect the fruit. 

And just because of that thicker skin, you’re gonna have more structure, more tannin, more varietal expression. So that’s why it makes a very important difference where you’re planting your fruit or your vines in order to determine the style of wine you’re gonna get. 

The higher you go, the more robust wines you’re going to be able to produce just because of this natural protection the vines develop.


We’re going to talk about your bottles.

Because we have a lot of foodies reading. What kind of foods would be great to pair with each one?

Jaime Merino: Before I go into the specifics of the wine, and particularly to all the foodies, I am one of those. Let me tell you that anytime that a winemaker that is going to be,”the winery chef”, is thinking on the wine that he’s going to be producing, he should be thinking immediately with what type of food he’s going to be pairing that wine.

That is probably one of the key aspects to understanding wines, and this is going to be at the same time an invitation to all our viewers, foodies or not foodies, to break taboos. 

And what I mean by this is that probably our grandparents and eventually our parents were of the idea that whites are for seafood and shellfish and reds are for meats and game and why?

Why? Break taboos, play with this. This is a life element that we need to challenge to see how it performs with different types of foods and different types of elements. Also one of the other big differences that I find in Chile, comparing the U. S., in Chile, wine is part of the diet.


So for us, any meal lunch or dinner could not exist without a glass of wine to go with whatever type of food we’re going to be having. That is also a huge difference being part of the diet and not just looking at wine and approaching wine as a special occasion product that we’re going to be consuming.

Having said that, I have in front of me three of the most popular wines in our portfolio:

Santa Ema Select Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is our Santa Ema Select Terroir. So Chile, in terms of whites, produces Sauvignon different types of white varieties. Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, that is extremely popular, but Sauvignon Blanc is the queen of the whites, and Chile has a very strong reputation for Sauvignon Blanc.

One of the things that you need to be aware of is that stylistically, what we try to accomplish here is not the super grassy, grapefruity, very exuberant nose that you will find in Sauvignon Blancs coming from New Zealand. Sometimes you’re going to find that in Chile.  But the style of wines in Chile in general is more geared towards France, the old world.

So this is going to be like a crossover between New Zealand and Sancerre. You’re going to have more minerality, you’re going to have a little bit more complexity, and not that you’re going to open this bottle and you’re going to have that very exuberant nose that is going to be extremely, Intriguing. No, it’s a little bit more tame.

It has a very nice refreshing acidity. It has a very crispy style with very interesting citrusy notes to it, making it a very good wine to enjoy at the end of the day, just because  you want to hit a glass of wine at the end of the day or to be paired with food. 

What type of food? 

In my world, I will do ceviche all day long.  If not, I will go with some oysters. Maybe with a delicate white fish – flounder or cod, for instance. Not too elaborate, not too much abusing on dairy products, cream or butter. The more simple, the better. 


Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley and I have Merlot from Maipo Valley. I’m going to leave Merlot to the end. Although in tasting order, most probably. We’re going to do first Merlot and then Cabernet Sauvignon, but I’m going to explain the reasons why I’m leaving this Merlot to be the last one.

Santa Ema Select Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon from the Maipo Valley.  In terms of the fruit, a combination of fruit coming from the central part of the valley and fruit coming from our vineyards in the foothills of the Andes. Just to give a little bit of the extra kick, extra structure, a little bit more of a backbone.

A Cabernet Sauvignon by the book, meaning a very honest, true expression of the variety. We use a combination of French and American oak barrels. We want a little bit of the expression of both types of wood. American most of the time is going to be more chocolate, more vanilla, more of the “sweet tastes” that you will find in wine.

French is going to give you more of the leather, the tobacco, a little bit more of the complexity. And that is the reason why we use a combination of both types: American oak barrels and French oak barrels. But not to abuse the oak, so we keep a percentage of the wine in American, and percentage of the wine in French, normally six to eight months, sometimes up to 10 months.

Then we blend it all together and we put it back in the bottle just to keep a good expression of fruit. 

Red meats, strong cheeses, it works extremely well. So if you guys like grilling, barbecuing, big time, a perfect match to go with anything that you’re going to be grilling, barbecuing, but please leave the barbecue sauce in the pantry or the refrigerator because the sweetness of the barbecue sauce is going to kill most of the wines that are going to be pairing with it. 

If you want ribs with barbecue sauce, fantastic!  Drinking wines that are going to be suited for that is going to be challenging. I’m telling you try to keep your meats as clean as possible in terms of any super hot, spicy additions or the sweetness of barbecue sauce.

Santa Ema Reserve Merlot

Santa Ema has been working with Merlot for many years to the point that our reserve on Merlot is one of our flagships in the portfolio. Iit is a very particular wine because we use American oak barrels that are produced by a cooper in Missouri specifically for this wine with specs that are determined just for this wine.

What is the secret is that these barrels are toasted inside at a certain level of temperature that is going to allow a caramelization of the wood. That is going to be transferred ultimately into the wine via very distinctive notes of vanilla, roasted coconut, and sometimes nuances of chocolate, to the point that in certain markets, this wine is referred to as the cookies and cream wine or the chocolate kiss wine.

It’s a very interesting bottle to explore and to renew your vows with Merlot. 

We have a very strong influence of Italian dishes here, so say a lasagna, chicken parmigiana will go extremely well with this,  a Mexican dish with mole sauce, not too spicy mole, not too much in the heat side of mole, but more in the profile taste of mole. And if you really want to throw a curveball to this Merlot, try to venture and pair it with tiramisu and see what happens.

Phenomenal ideas. 

Just to give you a little thing in relation to food and wine pairings. Many years ago, in a wine event here in Atlanta with Alton Brown, that is one of the Food Network celebrities, we put together a seminar “How to destroy a wine” and the whole concept of it was, me choosing wines, Alton Brown cooking and in the last minute doing something to what he was cooking for me to be able to say, ‘Alton, you destroyed my wine.’

So it was a very interesting experience and particularly for the consumers attending a very eye opening experience that very simple things like [preparing] a green salad that you drizzle some olive oil and you put a little bit of salt and pepper and in the last minute you say, ‘Okay, I’m going to pour this with the Sauvignon Blanc.’

Then Alton asking me, ‘Do you want me to squeeze some lemon on your salad?’ Sure, absolutely. But you destroy my wine.  The show [had ]little tips and things like that. 


Is there anything that we haven’t talked about that you really feel the audience wants to hear about or you want to share?


Jaime Merino: Today, one of the biggest challenges that we have as a country, Chile has a very good established reputation as a wine producing country, but most of the time perceived as a good value producing country, inexpensive wines coming from Chile. So you’re going to find brands out there, sometimes retailing for $5, 6, 7 a bottle.

And that’s fine. But that is one aspect of Chile. There’s another aspect of Chile of more premium, super premium, ultra premium wines. 

I feel very often that consumers are afraid to venture into those more expensive wines. And sometimes when I’m talking more expensive, normally they retail between $15 and $18 a bottle.

That is a new Chile that needs to be discovered because that is where most of the interesting revolution in terms of the wine industry is happening right now.

My invitation is to go to your preferred store, go to the South American section or Chilean section, if there is one, and see what they have from Chile. Okay. That really

Where can we find these wines? What’s the website? And how can we follow you on social media?

Jaime Merino: Okay if you want to know a little bit more, go to www.SantaEma.CL the CL is for Chile. 

If you want to follow us on social media, Instagram and Facebook

The easiest way to buy Santa Ema is go to and see what is available in your region, 


NYC: With Moby Pod, Multi-Award-Winning Rocker Moby Joins Podcasting World

Moby Pod celebrates the artist’s unique perspective on the world of music, activism, and so much more.

There are some people who master one skill, and then there are some whose creative versatility seems to know no bounds. That’s multi-hyphenate artist MOBY.

Moby, the award-winning punk rocker-turned-electronica artist, who has sold 20+ million records across the globe, has joined the podcast age and launched Moby Pod (available on all podcast platforms).

The new show is distributed in partnership with the Human Content podcast network.

Still as active as ever, this year has been full of releases, records, and real conversations with people all from Moby’s circle.

With Moby Pod, Multi-Award-Winning Rocker Moby Joins Podcasting World

With Moby Pod, Multi-Award-Winning Rocker Moby Joins Podcasting World

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to tour with David Bowie, cure your panic attacks with your own musical creation, or own the world’s dirtiest teacups, Moby Pod is a must-listen.

The podcast, which stars the renowned musician himself and his co-host and producer, Lindsay Hicks, offers Moby’s personal and professional insights in addition to sharing unique perspectives on the world of music, animal activism, and beyond.

Moby Pod, which releases new episodes every other week, features Moby’s occasional sit-downs with surprising guests to discuss their careers, creative processes, and more.

Listeners who are fans of Moby’s music and those simply interested in hearing candid conversations with fascinating people alike, you will find something engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining each week.

Early guests have included Derrick Green, renowned vocalist of the groundbreaking metal band Sepultura (2/10); American actress and painter Lisa Edelstein(3/10); and actor and sustainability advocate Ed Begley Jr. (7/28).

I went where everyone went, the world of podcasting!

Moby jokes

I love talking, and I love having fascinating conversations with fascinating people, so this podcast has been a long time coming.

In addition to his podcast debut, Moby made his directorial debut with the worldwide premiere of his new film, Punk Rock Vegan Movie, at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in January. “Punk Rock Vegan Movie, which has now won “Best Documentary” at multiple film festivals, explores the ongoing relationship between punk rock and animal rights.

A longtime vegan and animal rights activist himself, Moby is offering his film for free to spread the importance and urgency of his message: going vegan to protect the world’s animals.

And there’s more!

On May 12, Moby released his new album “Resound NYC” via Deutsche Grammophon / Universal.  The album features reimagined versions of some of his best-known tracks with new vocalists, including Gregory Porter, Ricky Wilson (Kaiser Chiefs), Margo Timmons, and Amythyst Kiah.

New Moby Pod episodes release every other week on all podcast platforms. 

Spain’s Penin Guide Wine Best! Taste of the Podium XIII offers Penin Guide 2023 Tasting at City Winery NYC

Taste of the Podium XIII offers Penin Guide 2023 Tasting at City Winery NYC

It was a proud day for Spain’s Penin Guide as they’re showcasing hundreds of their best wines for NYC’s wine and food elite: sommeliers, wine shop retail and wine critics.

What makes it extra special is their afternoon ‘Taste of the Podium XIII’ tasting where a select group will receive the privilege of a hosted tasting through the Penin Guide 2023 highest rated wines moderated by.

A.J. Ojeda - Pons

Spanish Wine Expert A.J. Ojeda – Pons

For those who haven’t experienced an A.J. Ojeda – Pons led tasting, it’s incredible and highly-recommended.  Try your best to attend his future event.


What is the Penin Guide?


First published in 1990 under the name of Vinos y Bodegas de España, and edited by José Peñín, the current honorary president of the company.

The Peñín Guide to Spanish wines is the most comprehensive Spanish wine guide in the world.

With editions in Spanish, English, German and Chinese, it is the most widely used tool for amateurs and professionals to make purchasing decisions on Spanish wine.

It’s a must-have resource for restaurants, wine shops and critics.

What is Penin Guide’s Taste of the Podium


To make it even clearer, at City Winery NYC we’re tasting through wines that achieved Penin Guide’s highest marks of 2023.

What we’re about to taste with the Taste of the Podium event, is the best of the best.  Wines rated 95 points or more in the new edition of the guide, known as “Podium” wines of the Penin Guide.

If your restaurant serves Spanish wines,  your shop sells Spanish wines, or you write about Spanish wines, you want to be at this overall event and squeeze in to this afternoon’s Podium tasting.


A.J. Ojeda – Pons Doesn’t Disappoint


From the moment AJ walks in the room, the energy changes.  He’s excited.  He knows what we’re tasting today and he’s eager to share and get reactions.

Pere Ventura Grand Vintage Paraje Calificada Can Bas 2015 BE GR BR Cava

Pere Ventura Grand Vintage Paraje Calificada Can Bas 2015 BE GR BR Cava

Pere Ventura Grand Vintage Paraje Calificada Can Bas 2015 BE GR BR Cava

Creamy smooth palate with lemon and ripe melon flavors balanced by toasty character. Elegant and persistent. 

Lalomba Finca Valhonta 2018 Rioja Tempranillo

Lalomba Finca Valhonta 2018 Rioja Tempranillo


Lalomba Finca Valhonta 2018 Rioja Tempranillo


Deep purple in the glass.  On the nose, blueberry, black berry, black currant. A seductive ripe round mouthful, complex and persistent. It fills your heart with young romance.  Good structure, good body, medium finish.



Por los Cien 2018 T Bodegas Fos Rioja Tempranillo

Bright medium ruby in the glass with gentle hints of garnet around the rim.  An orchestra of blackberry, plums, violet that ”sings” with aroma if you’re listening. Gorgeous.  Evolving into spice, cedar, black pepper, balsamic.  Complicated and expressive, with body, medium tannin and a lingering finish. Food pairings back for stews, spicy dishes, blue cheese gamey meats.


San Vicente 2018 T BA Senorio de San Vicente Rioja Tempranillo

San Vicente 2018 T BA Senorio de San Vicente Rioja Tempranillo

San Vicente 2018 T BA Senorio de San Vicente Rioja Tempranillo


Inky deep purple in the glass.  A powerful gush of blackberry, blueberry, black plum.  It fills your mouth with a then velvet layer of liquorice, oak, cherry cola, tobacco, chocolate.  Full body with a long, confident finish.  Pairs well with manchego, a hefty burger, well-seasoned roasted lamb. 


Baron de Chirel 2017 T Bodegas de los Herederos del Marques de Riscol;  Rioja Tempranillo

Baron de Chirel 2017 T Bodegas de los Herederos del Marques de Riscol;  Rioja Tempranillo

Baron de Chirel 2017 T Bodegas de los Herederos del Marques de Riscol;  Rioja Tempranillo


Medium ruby in the glass.  Pronounced aromas of black currant, black plum almost reach out and kiss you.  In your mouth it’s deep, dense and full.  Graphite, minerality, mushroom, earth.  Full body.  Medium tannin that seems to keep growing.  A finish that keeps lingering.  Pair with ribeye, bbq. 


Grans Muralles 2018 T R Familia Torres Conca De Barbera Garnacha carinena querol monastree garro

Grans Muralles 2018 T R Familia Torres Conca De Barbera Garnacha carinena querol monastree garro

Grans Muralles 2018 T R Familia Torres Conca De Barbera Garnacha carinena querol monastree garro


Medium ruby in the glass. Black berry, black currant, raspberry on the nose.  Black plum, chocolate, tobacco, building to a complex, medium tannin, slight oak, full body.


Victorino 2019 T Teso la Monja Toro Tino de Toro


Deep, inky purple in the glass.  Pronounced nose of black currant, black plum, rip fruit, black pepper.  The mouth is velvety and full-bodied, medium tannin, raspberry, cloves, chocolate  The finish was smooth and lingering.

Abadia  Retuerta Pago Negralada 2016 T BA Abadia Retuerta Pago Abadia Retuerta Tempranillo


Deep ruby in the glass.  Pronounced red currant, fresh berry on the nose.  Medium body, medium tannin with a balanced ensemble of vanilla, clove, cedar with a slight pastry hint.


Jorge Ordonez & Co No 2 Victoria Dulce (sin fortificar) 2021nB D Jorge Ordonez Malaga Y Sierra de Malaga Moscate


The nose is gorgeous with white peaches, pineapple, gooseberries and green apples,  orange peel, honey.   A decadent, sensual mouth keeps building with honey, caramel, candied apple, and cantaloupe.  Plush, full–bodied, medium acid, hint of bitter altogether brinds balance.



Doc Cortados 20 Anos BF PC S Bodegas Williams & Humbert Jerez Palominno


Medium amber in the glass. Nose of fig, dried fruit. Medium body with churned butter, caramel, toasted almonds, butter, vanilla, baking spice with a medium finish that lingered just long enough.

An excellent showing by Spain’s Penin Guide and truly a showcase of their Taste of the Podium

Speaking of well-balanced, our leader A.J. Ojeda – Pons did an excellent job of sharing knowledge, balancing but never overpowering some formidable flavors, keeping the conversation light, but intriguing and pacing our short time quite well.  Not too hurried, but never lagging.  

Kudos and cheers to Mr. Ojeda – Pons and the entire Penin team.  Thank you Morgan Perry and Sicily Cronin.

Tina Fey And Amy Poehler Announce New ‘Restless Leg’ Tour Dates

Tina Fey And Amy Poehler Announce New ‘Restless Leg’ Tour Dates

After the incredible success of their first live sold out tour this Spring, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey announced their Restless Leg Tour will continue. The comedy icons, writers, producers, actresses and Saturday Night Live alumni will first stop in Cleveland, OH followed by Denver, CO, Austin, TX, Las Vegas, NV, Philadelphia, PA and Portland, OR.

TICKETS:  Presales begin Wednesday, June 21 at 10 AM local time, including an artist presale with code RESTLESS. General on-sale begins Friday, June 23 at 10 AM local time on

Limited VIP merchandise bundled tickets will be available at each show.

For more information, fans can head to and follow @tinaamytour on Instagram.


Thur Sept 21 – Cleveland, OH – State Theatre at Playhouse Square

Sun Oct. 1 – Denver, CO – Bellco Theatre

Thur Oct 12 – Austin, TX – Bass Concert Hall

Fri Nov 10 – Las Vegas, NV – Resorts World Theatre*

Sat Nov 11 – Las Vegas, NV – Resorts World Theatre*

Thur Dec 14 – Philadelphia, PA  – The Met

Sat Jan 13 – Portland, OR – Alaska Airlines’ Theater of the Clouds

*not a Live Nation tour date

About Tina Fey:

TINA FEY  is an award-winning writer, actress, author and producer, known for creating and starring as ‘Liz Lemon’ in 30 Rock.  30 Rock holds the record for the most Emmy nominations in one season for any comedy series (22), and received a total of 103 Emmy nominations and 16 wins over 7 seasons. Prior to creating 30 Rock, Fey completed nine seasons as head writer, cast member, and co- anchor of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live.  While at SNL, Fey also wrote the screenplay for the hit comedy film, Mean Girls, which Fey subsequently adapted for Broadway(12 Tony Award nominations) and again as a new musical feature film, now in pre-production for Paramount.

On film, Fey starred with Amy Poehler in Baby Mama and Sisters, with Steve Carell in Date Night, as lead voice in Pixar’s Oscar winning animated feature film Soul, and co-stars in Kenneth Branagh’s “A Haunting in Venice.”  Fey also co-created, with Robert Carlock, the Emmy nominated hit Netflix original comedy, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Mr. Mayor starring Ted Danson.  Fey Executive Produced the Netflix animated series, Mulligan, as well as Girls5eva from creator Meredith Scardino, which wrapped production on Season 3 for Netflix. Fey’s memoir, Bossypants, topped the New York Times best seller list and remained for 39 consecutive weeks, and went on to sell over 5 million copies in the US thus far.

About Amy Poehler:

AMY POEHLER is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and sought-after talents, with credits including actress, writer, executive producer, and bestselling author. Poehler, perhaps best known for her starring role on the Emmy-nominated NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation, can currently be seen as co-host alongside Maya Rudolph in the second season of Peacock’s Baking It, where she also serves as executive producer. Other recent projects include serving as executive producer and narrator of Peacock’s unscripted series The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, co-creator, executive producer, and the lead voice of FOX’s animated series Duncanville, executive producer of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated series Russian Doll, Amazon’s Harlem and Adult Swim’s Three Busy Debras. On March 4, 2022, Poehler made her documentary directorial debut with Amazon’s Emmy-winning documentary Lucy & Desi, where she also executive produced alongside Imagine Documentaries & White Horse Pictures. She recently starred and directed in Netflix’s Moxie and appeared as co-host (alongside Nick Offerman) and executive producer of the hit crafting competition series Making It. She has several additional projects in development as part of her successful production company Paper Kite Productions, including the upcoming First Time Female Director, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, thriller-drama The Mother-In-Law, and the Netflix animated feature Steps.

Scroll to top